What Are Shingles?

Shingles have become more common over the years. The elderly and those with weakened immune systems are particularly susceptible to becoming afflicted by shingles. Below is an explanation of what the condition is, how it affects patients and the most common treatment methods.

Shingles Explained

Shingles is a virus that attacks a patient’s nerve endings. Shingles are caused by a dormant chicken pox virus that becomes active. There are many causes of shingles, and the risk factors include stress, trauma and a weakened immune system. There is no way to predict whether a person will become afflicted by shingles. A vaccine has been developed to assist in the prevention of shingles, but the vaccine is not 100% effective.

Shingles are extremely painful. Because a patient’s nerve endings are affected, a patient is usually in extreme amounts of pain. Affected nerve endings are raw, and thereby release large amounts of pain.

There is no cure or treatment for shingles. The only treatment that can be done for shingles is to manage the amount of pain a patient feels. This is often done through the administration of topical pain ointments or sprays, or the prescription of narcotics. The disease cures itself over a period of time.

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